Weekly recipes for Nov. 20, 2013

From Herald news servicesNovember 20, 2013 

Classic Scones

Hands on: 10 minutes Total time: 20 minutes Makes: 8-10 scones.

2 cups cake flour, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream, more for brushing

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put flour, salt, baking powder and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles cornmeal.

Add egg and just enough cream to form a slightly sticky dough. If it's too sticky, add a little flour; it should still stick a little to your hands.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice, then press a 3/4-inch-thick circle and cut into 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass. Put the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. Brush the top of each scone with a bit of cream and sprinkle with a little of the remaining sugar.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the scones are a beautiful golden brown. Serve immediately.

Nutrition: 240 calories (percent of calories from fat: 50), 3 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 14 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 66 milligrams cholesterol, 343 milligrams sodium.

-- Adapted from a recipe

in The New York Times by Mark Bittman

Tiny Buffalo's Fig and Mascarpone Scones

Hands on: 25 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Makes: About 20 scones

Audrey Gatliff, the baker-preneur behind Tiny Buffalo Baking Co., created this fall recipe. It's a good way to use up leftover fig preserves. To learn more about Gatliff's baked goods, check out tinybuffalo.com.

For the scones:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons mascarpone
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the glaze:

1/4 cup fig preserves or jam
2 to 3 tablespoons water

To make the scones: Line a large baking sheet with parchment.

Cut butter into small cubes and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter, using a pastry blender, a fork or your fingers. Stir in chopped figs.

In a small bowl, mix well 1/4 cup of the cream, eggs, mascarpone and maple syrup. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, and mix until dough forms into a ball. If needed, add more cream, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough forms. Don't overmix.

Scoop dough onto baking sheet, using a No. 24 scoop (1 1/2 ounces) or 1/4-cup measuring cup. (No need to shape the dough into smooth balls; free-form dollops will create a rustic look.) Place baking sheet in freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

When scones have chilled, bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the glaze: Place fig preserves in a small bowl and stir in water to thin. Heat microwave on high for about 1 minute, until quite warm. Stir again so that the mixture is smooth. (You may also make the glaze on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes.) Drizzle the glaze over the scones, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, or until the scones have absorbed the glaze. Serve immediately.

Per scone: 163 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 3 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 7 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 40 milligrams cholesterol, 164 milligrams sodium.

Tiny Buffalo's Apples-Pecan-Cinnamon Scones

Hands on: 25 minutes. Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Makes: 32 scones.

For the scones:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup apple, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the glaze:

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3-5 tablespoons water
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

To make the scones: Line a large baking sheet with parchment.

Cut butter into small cubes and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg. Cut in butter, using a pastry blender, a fork or your fingers. Stir in chopped apple and pecans. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla extract, and gently stir into flour mixture. Add 1/4 cup cream to form a dough that is just barely wet enough to stick together into a ball. Use more cream as needed to make the dough wet. Don't overmix.

Place the dough on a floured surface, and shape into an 8-inch-by-8-inch square about 3/4-inch thick. Cut the square into four 4-inch-by-4-inch-squares. Take one of the squares, and slice it into four smaller squares; then slice each one into a triangle. Repeat with the remaining 4-inch-by-4-inch-squares. You should have a total of 32 scones. (If you having trouble visualizing this, draw it out on a piece of paper; you may use a pizza cutter to cut the squares. Another method: Scoop about 1/4 of the dough up with your hand, place on floured surface, shape into a 4-inch square, and cut into eight triangles.) Place baking sheet in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. When scones have chilled, bake for 13 to 16 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the glaze: Place confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and add about 3 tablespoons water to thin; add more water until the sugar has formed a glaze. Spoon the glaze over the scones and top with chopped pecans. Let set for 2-3 minutes or until the glaze has set. Serve immediately.

Per scone: 127 calories (percent of calories from fat, 41), 2 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 24 milligrams cholesterol, 101 milligrams sodium

Greek Pizza with Chicken and Artichokes

Makes 4 servings.

1 package refrigerated pizza dough
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups shredded chicken
1 jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
10 kalamata olives, drained, pitted and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

On a floured surface, roll out pizza dough to a 15-inch circle. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese onto prepared pizza dough. Top evenly with chicken. Combine roasted red peppers and, artichoke hearts, olive, oregano, and olive oil in a bowl; toss gently. Spoon mixture evenly over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese; top with feta cheese.

Bake at 500 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Chocolate Orange Lace Cookies

Start to finish: 50 minutes (30 minutes active). Makes 2 dozen cookies.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (about 1 orange) 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with kitchen parchment.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and orange zest, then beat until light and fluffy, about another 4 minutes. In another medium bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Scoop the dough a tablespoon at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, arranging them about 2 inches apart and about 12 per baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon to lightly press down on each mound to slightly flatten it. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, on the oven's center rack until the edges are browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack immediately and let them cool completely.

Nutrition: 50 calories; 25 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 3 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 10 milligrams cholesterol; 7 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams sugar; 1 gram protein; 40 milligrams sodium.

Chocolate Orange Lace Cookies

Olive oil spray
3/4 pound grouper fillet
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with olive oil spray. Place grouper on sheet and spray with olive oil spray. Place sheet under boiler 3 to 4 inches from heat source. Broil 3 minutes, turn and broil 4 minutes for 1/2-inch-thick fillet.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add pine nuts. Saute 1 minute or until pine nuts start to turn golden. Remove from heat and toss with parsley. Remove grouper from broiler and divide between 2 dinner plates. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon pine nuts and herbs on top. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition: 242 calories (37 percent from fat), 9.8 grams fat (1.6 g saturated, 4.7 grams monounsaturated), 60 milligrams cholesterol, 35.2 grams protein, 2.1 grams carbohydrates, 0.7 grams fiber, 96 milligrams sodium.

Hot-Spicy Brown Rice

2 cups water
1/2 cup quick-cooking (10-minute) brown rice
1/2 pound broccoli florets (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add rice and broccoli and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Water should be absorbed and rice cooked. If water runs dry, add a little more to allow rice to finish cooking.

Meanwhile toss peanuts with cayenne. Remove rice from heat and add the peanuts, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition: 275 calories (35 percent from fat), 10.5 grams fat (1.3 grams saturated, 5.6 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 9.5 grams protein, 40.8 grams carbohydrates, 2.8 grams fiber, 35 milligrams sodium.

Barley with Clam Sauce

Start to finish: 35 minutes. Servings: 4.

3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, preferably Italian-style
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cups medium chopped fresh fennel
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
3 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed well
3 cups cooked pearl barley
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon of the oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and fennel, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the wine, tomatoes and clams, cover tightly and increase heat to high. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, checking now and again and transferring the clams as they open to a bowl. Discard any clams that don't open.

Add the barley to the clam liquid left in the saucepan and heat over medium, stirring, for 3 minutes. Return the clams to the pan and cook, stirring, until they are heated through. Ladle the mixture into 4 pasta or soup bowls and top each portion with a quarter of the sauteed breadcrumbs and parsley.

Nutrition: 400 calories; 90 calories from fat (23 percent of total calories); 10 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 45 milligrams cholesterol; 50 grams carbohydrate; 7 grams fiber; 4 grams sugar; 22 grams protein; 240 milligrams sodium.

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